A warm, dry July evening in the heart of London: here’s what it looks like


Near the Ritz in central London. Photos: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Notice something about the photos above? There’s almost no one around.

Two years ago, a warm July evening in central London would have been very different. People would have been spilling out of pubs and restaurants on to the pavements. Tourists would have been out in force, selfie-sticks at the ready.

Covid-19 sparked the biggest fall in UK gross domestic product – a measure of the size of the economy – for more than 300 years in 2020, sending it plunging by a record 10 per cent.

But now, seven months into 2021, here we are, with London eerily empty; the swinging parts of the British capital all lit up and expectant — like a woman who waits at the door, earrings dangling, for the one…who will not, cannot come.

Perhaps I imagined it, but there was a profound sense of yearning on the empty streets.